May 10, 2018 / 10:44 AM / 9 months ago

Japan's Mitsubishi Materials says found fresh data-tampering cases

FILE PHOTO: A monitor showing the logo of Mitsubishi Materials Corp is seen in Tokyo, Japan, November 24, 2017. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan’s Mitsubishi Materials Corp (5711.T) said on Thursday it has found fresh cases of improper actions, including data tampering, at a small number of group firms on top of the five units that had already confirmed falsification of data.

The company did not disclose any further details, saying its customers have confirmed the affected products were safe.

Late last year, Mitsubishi Materials admitted that its subsidiaries falsified data about products, including parts for aircraft and automobiles, joining a series of quality assurance scandals to rock Japanese manufacturers.

The diversified materials manufacturer, which has said a total of 762 customers had received its products with falsified data, is still checking with its customers to see if there are any safety issues with those products, though none have been identified so far, a spokesman said.

For the year ended March 31, Mitsubishi Materials, which supplies copper and aluminium materials as well as cement, reported a 22 percent rise in net profit to 34.6 billion yen (231.5 million pounds) although the data-tampering scandal reduced its profit by 4.6 billion yen.

“We expect the data falsification issue will have a (negative) impact of several hundreds of millions of yen on our earnings this year,” Mitsubishi Materials Executive Vice President Naoki Ono told an earnings briefing.

The company has completed investigations over its 119 production facilities at home and abroad on data-tampering and it will now focus on reinforcing corporate governance to avoid repeating the same mistake, he said.

For the year to March 31, 2019, it forecasts a 1.2 percent increase in net profit.

Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Darren Schuettler and Muralikumar Anantharaman

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